Exceptionalism by Michael B Mukasey

Independence Day 2017

Randolph J. May July 03, 2017

Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, without question one of the most powerful, eloquent speeches in the American canon, consists of only 272 words and was delivered in less than three minutes. 

Compare Lincoln’s far less well known, but nevertheless eloquent address in Peoria, Illinois, on October 16, 1854. The Peoria Address, as it came to be known, consists of over 17,000 words and took Lincoln three hours and ten minutes to deliver. 

The Peoria Address was a response to passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which voided a restriction on the extension of slavery that had been part of the Missouri Compromise of 1820. The speech marked Lincoln’s reentry into politics and thrust him into the national debate over slavery. 

For present purposes, the Peoria Address is relevant to understanding the meaning of Independence Day. Indeed, Lincoln grounded his extended argument against slavery firmly in the philosophy and principles expounded in the Founders’ Declaration of 1776, not the Constitution of 1787.  [Read More]

Article: Abraham Lincoln Loved Our Patent System. Let's Not Tear it Down.

Article: Abraham Lincoln Loved Our Patent System. Let's Not Tear it Down.

Timothy Courtney November 19, 2015

Joseph Allen of the Washington Post writes:

Abraham Lincoln once called the patent system one of the three greatest advances in human history, surpassed only by the discovery of America and the printing press. The United States was the first nation to allow commoners to own patents. Having a patent allowed the Wright brothers (two humble bicycle mechanics from Ohio) to beat Samuel Langley, their government-backed rival, to become the first to fly—and land—a machine heavier than air.

Patents give inventors the right to control how their discoveries are used in exchange for telling the public how they work. This bargain increases knowledge and drives modern economies. Patents are supposed to shield entrepreneurs from having their inventions stolen by powerful competitors, but modern inventors now face a system that has broken its pledge. Rather than addressing the underlying problems, the pending patent reform legislation tilts the system even further against inventors.

Read the full article